And the Giants went down quietly in both the first and the second. The Pirates second was just as calm, but in the third, Craig Wilson hit a barely-over-the-fence homerun over the head and glove of CF Marquis Grissom. Pirates 3. Giants 0.
In the bottom of the third, Neifi Perez and Yorvit Torrealba were retired to bring up pitcher Brett Tomko up to bat. He managed to knock the ball past the pitcher Fogg, and he legged out the throw to home. Durham proceeded to draw the first walk issued by Fogg, and it looked like the Giants might have a chance to rally, but it was cut short when J.T. Snow hit a liner right at Jack Wilson to end the inning.
Jason Bay started off the fourth with a walk. A line drive by Stynes sent Bay to third. With runners at the corners, a groundout to first base scored Bay and moved Stynes to second. Durham caught a line drive for out number two, but Tomko couldn't get out three—or strike three for that matter—as Jason Kendall's base hit cleared the bases and increased the Pirates' lead to five. Tomko walked the next batter but managed to get out of the inning with a flyout.
The Giants remained snakebitten in the fourth and fifth innings, and it began to look hopeless as the game trudged slowly onward. There still remained that optimism, though, as Tomko stayed out of trouble in the tops of the fifth and sixth innings, and the Giants rallied in the sixth. Durham singled to left to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Snow's base hit put runner on first and second. A sacrifice to third by Marquis Grissom moved the runners forward for Alfonzo, who hit a single to center that scored both baserunners. Michael Tucker followed that with a flyout to center, and Brian Meadow, the Pirates replacement for Josh Fogg, retired pinch hitter Pedro Feliz to bring the Pirates back up to bat.
Wayne Franklin came in to pitch for the Giants, and even though he started off the inning by getting into trouble, he got out of it just as quickly with two fielder's choice plays and a great throw from the knees by catcher Yorvit Torrealba to gun down the runner trying to steal second.
Torrealba did not have so much luck with the bat, though, as he led off the seventh inning with a groundout. Pinch hitter Jeffrey Hammonds, however, had a sweet double to left field. With a left-hander in Durham coming up to bat, the Pirates brought in another pitcher, Grabow. Despite this bit of strategy, Durham still beat the pitcher by getting a good piece of a location mistake for a single. This hit brought home Hammonds to whittle the deficit down to two. A wild pitch by Grabow got Durham into scoring position, but that opportunity was wasted as J.T. Snow struck out.
In the top of the eighth, that run from the seventh was made invalid. The Giants gave the rally another go in the bottom of the inning, as Edgardo Alfonzo went deep, and the score was now 6 to 4. Jason Christiansen came in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth, and it was up to the Giants offense to come up with a miracle. They couldn't produce. Pirates closer Jose Mesa retired Torrealba, but pinch hitter A.J. PIerzynski hit a ball into triples alley which turned out to only be a double. (It's only triples alley for the fast guys.) A base hit by Durham into center gave the Giants runners at the corners, and Snow walked to bring Grissom to the plate, as Deivi Cruz came in to run for a questionable Durham. This was not needed, though, as Grissom grounded into … the double play.
SFDugout Player of the Game: Edgardo Alfonzo has been hitting well in the clutch, and he ended up being a decent filler in the cleanup spot in place of the ailing Barry Bonds. The solo home run definitely sealed the deal today, and his defense was solid as usual.
Amy Lew has been writing close to anything and everything for SFDugout.com since its inception. . A Giants fan since age eight (1994), she writes ‘Who's Hot and Who's Not,' does her fair share of special features, and serves an unofficial editor. You can contact her at email@example.com.
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